M Natarajan is back at the Poes Garden in Chennai. Natarajan, who is Sasikala's husband, was sent away from Poes Garden by Jayalalithaa in 1996 and since then he has stayed away. However, once Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital, one got to a very active side of Natarajan.
It is strongly rumoured that his clout in Delhi led to Rahul Gandhi's visit to Apollo Hospital to the ailing Jayalalithaa. The man who had been kept away by Jayalalithaa returned following her death and was seen standing next to her body at Rajaji Hall.
His return is clearly been seen as a move by Sasikala who has been accused of trying to bring her family into the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The state intelligence had also pointed out that the unity of the party largely depends on how Sasikala handles her family members. If she continues to give preference to her family members then the split in the party would be invevitable, the officer with the IB had said.
Natarajan was forced to leave Poes Garden in 1996. He, however, continued to stay in business and played a major role in getting aspirants tickets to contest the elections. He is said to be well connected in Delhi and is friendly with several leaders in the Congress. He is also said to be close to the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Today with Sasikala unofficially in charge of the party, Natarajan and her brother Dinakaran have risen to advise her. This has not gone down too well with party workers who feel that she is going to make the AIADMK a family party.
Natarajan has been taking keen interest in the affairs of the party since Jayalalithaa's death. The meetings between O Paneerselvam and Sasikala are said to be scripted by Natarajan himself who is said to have been positioning himself as a lobbyist in Delhi.
Who is the man?
Natarajan hails from Vilar in Thanjavur district. His father was a farmer. His rise to fame came following an anti-Hindu agitation. He then joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam as a PRO. However, when MGR was elected chief minister, Natarajan switched sides.
He met Jayalalithaa first in the 1980s when she was being groomed into politics. Natarajan then introduced his wife Sasikala to Jayalalithaa. Soon, Sasikala moved into Poes Garden with Jayalalithaa and the rest is history.